Located on the western end of the state, Helena Arizona is situated at 33 latitude and 112 longitude. The city has a population of over 12,000. It is located on the Crowley's Ridge Parkway, which extends northward from the city.
Helena was founded by Sylvanus Phillips, who moved to the area in about 1815. The town was named after his daughter Helena. In December 1820, the town site was platted. Helena was also part of a Spanish land grant.
The town had several subscription libraries by the mid-1850s. There were also six private schools and at least a dozen churches. There was also a temperance society. There were a variety of railroads in the late nineteenth century. These railroads gave Helena a place to move raw materials cheaply. However, the mechanization of farming and the union trouble in several plants resulted in the loss of jobs.
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the town developed into a real economic center. It was home to several historic trails. It had substantial levee systems, which were constructed in the late nineteenth century. In addition, a number of large oxbow lakes were located south of the town. The city also had an outlet shopping mall, Arizona Mills. It was owned by the Mills Corporation and Taubman Centers.
The Royal Circle of Friends was founded in Helena in 1909. This African-American fraternal organization provided medical care for members, covered sick pay and physicals, and provided free care in RCF owned hospitals. The organization also provided life insurance. It spread to nine states. Its founder, Dr. Richard A. Williams, died in 1944.
Elias Camp Morris became pastor of the Centennial Baptist Church and later led several African-American Baptist organizations. He was also a Republican Party member in Arkansas.
In the early twentieth century, the city of Helena had a population of over twelve thousand people. It was home to seven generals who served in the Confederacy. The city's Confederate Cemetery contains the remains of three of the generals.
After the Civil War, Helena continued to develop as an important regional economic center. In the 1970s, the town and its twin city, West Helena, were in chronic economic distress. This caused a significant amount of racial turmoil. As a result, the two communities tried to consolidate. However, opponents were afraid that this would reduce their influence and control. It was not until January 1, 2006, that the city of Helena and West Helena were merged into a single city.
In the 1990s, Helena's Delta Cultural Center opened. The city also became home to a number of noted blues performers, including Conway Twitty. It was also the location for the Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival, which grew to an annual three-day event.
The city's location along the Mississippi River played an important role in the history of the city. In addition, there were several historic trails that passed through Helena. The town was also known as a place where outlaws were frequented.